Limiting water use and eliminating water waste are two of the most powerful and easiest ways to go green with your home's plumbing. But, there are a number of green plumbing fixtures to help too!
The earth's limited supply of water is further limited by the growing demand for water, but adding eco-friendly, environmentally conscience, "green" plumbing to your existing home, or new home, can help save the environment. And also save you money in the long run.
When most people think of water use they immediately think of sinks and toilets, and those are two great places to start, but green plumbing possibilities do not end there. There are many ways to limit your water consumption to a more responsible and cost-effective consumption.
Low flow toilets can significantly lower your water consumption. If you are worried about backups due to above-average usage you should look into dual-flow technology. Dual flow toilets let you choose between a regular flush and a low-flow flush depending on your needs.
A less common, but even better alternative for your toilet needs is a composting unit. These toilets do not use water at all but do require some special installations for typical home use.
Sinks and Showers
Most if not all sinks can be easily fitted with low-flow faucets that give you plenty of water for normal use without wasting water like a traditional faucet.
Installing a hose with your kitchen faucet can allow you to easily control the amount of water you use to rinse by automatically shutting off the flow when you release the handle. One of the most wasteful items in the home when it comes to water is a kitchen sink where water is run constantly when washing dishes, pots, and pans.
For high-tech water conservation, install sensor-operated water flow faucets throughout your home to keep members of the household from wasting water. Sensor-operated faucets also have an added health benefit- limiting germs from dirty hands passed to the faucet.
Install a low-flow showerhead to control the amount of water used when showering. Many new eco-friendly showerheads (including detachable showerheads) now have a shut-off option on the showerhead itself so that water is only used when you need it- for rinsing!
Water Heaters and Other Devices
Water heaters that have reservoirs that keep large amounts of water heated constantly, even when there is no demand, not only wastes water but also wastes energy to heat the container. Using tankless water heaters allows hot water to be generated only when it is called upon and eliminates heating element costs during times water is not being used.
If you simply cannot fathom not having supplies of hot water available on demand install point of use water heaters. These units do not supply the entire house, but rather specific areas where more hot water may be desired quickly such as showers.
An alternative to completely doing away with a large central hot water heater is to install a solar powered water heater. This at least cuts the energy used to heat the water in the containment system.
For a complete water conservation package install smart irrigation devices for a sprinkling system. These units typically use less water, and some are available that have rain sensors that will stop irrigation if enough rain has fallen to saturate the ground.
A great way to conserve water is to not waste water. And broken plumbing fixtures and cracked pipes are leading, and often hidden, cause of excessive water waste. A professional plumber, routine plumbing maintenance, and leak detection can help locate a leak underground or other hard to find leaks before they get out of hand. Some plumbers may offer leak detection services, while others may have a leak detection specialist they work with. If you have an unusually high water bill, you may have a plumbing leak. Some common areas to look are the toilet and leaky faucets. A constantly running toilet can add hundreds of dollars to a monthly water bill depending on where you live.